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The changing role of fire in conifer-dominated temperate rainforest through the last 14,000 years
Fletcher, M-S and Bowman, DMJS and Whitlock, C and Mariani, M and Stahle, L, The changing role of fire in conifer-dominated temperate rainforest through the last 14,000 years, Quaternary Science Reviews, 182 pp. 37-47. ISSN 0277-3791 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
Climate, fire and vegetation dynamics are often tightly coupled through time. Here, we use a 14 kyr sedimentary charcoal and pollen record from Lake Osborne, Tasmania, Australia, to explore how this relationship changes under varying climatic regimes within a temperate rainforest ecosystem. Superposed epoch analysis reveals a significant relationship between fire and vegetation change throughout the Holocene at our site. Our data indicates an initial resilience of the rainforest system to fire under a stable cool and humid climate regime between ca. 12-6 ka. In contrast, fires that occurred after 6 ka, under an increasingly variable climate regime wrought by the onset of the El Niņo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), resulted in a series of changes within the local rainforest vegetation that culminated in the replacement of rainforest by fire-promoted Eucalypt forest. We suggest that an increasingly variable ENSO-influenced climate regime inhibited rainforest recovery from fire because of slower growth, reduced fecundity and increased fire frequency, thus contributing to the eventual collapse of the rainforest system.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||pollen, charcoal, rainforest, Tasmania, El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), superposed epoch analysis (SEA)|
|Research Division:||Earth Sciences|
|Research Group:||Physical geography and environmental geoscience|
|Objective Division:||Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards|
|Objective Group:||Understanding climate change|
|Objective Field:||Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)|
|UTAS Author:||Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||14|
|Deposited By:||Plant Science|
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